Drivers in emergency lane slowed response in crash that shut down interstate

by: Lori Wilson Updated:

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A dump truck crash shut down I-85 in South Fulton County for hours Wednesday.

The crash on I-85 Southbound near Senoia Road made for a messy evening commute. 

“We know traffic can be awful when something like this happens. We are working as fast as we can,” Fairburn Deputy Chief Anthony Bazydlo said.

Police said drivers on the shoulder blocked emergency responders from getting to the wreck.

 “We had a HERO unit that was prevented from getting to the scene, several of our officers and we had an ambulance that was not related to the accident that had a patient on board that was trying to get to a local hospital that could not get through the traffic because the emergency lane was closed,” Bazydlo said.

Fairburn police gave Channel 2 Action News body camera video that shows officers working to move the drivers out of the way. 

“It complicates the entire response when emergency vehicles can’t get there,” Bazydlo said. “Had this been a situation where the driver of the accident vehicle had life-threatening injuries, the ambulance wouldn’t have been able to get there.”


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He said not only is it illegal to block the lanes, but it also made the whole situation last longer for those who were in the proper lanes.

“You saw the video of the guys who were shoveling dirt out of the highway trying to clear the debris. The crews that were doing that work were delayed because they couldn’t use the emergency lanes to get there,” Bazydlo said.

Police said they didn’t issue any tickets because their priority was to get the lanes cleared.

They said drivers need to police themselves by obeying the law to keep everyone safe.

“Being late for dinner, being late for a movie -- those are not reasons to drive in the emergency lane,” Bazydlo said. 

 

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